The German government is considering the possibility of establishing a mechanism which will allow shutting down the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline if Russia reduces gas transit through Ukraine, reported German newspaper WirtschaftsWoche citing sources.
According to the newspaper, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas are not considering the full withdrawal from the gas pipeline project.
At the same time, instead of completely stopping the construction, they are considering the possibility of introducing a mechanism that would allow to shut it down, if Russia announces its intention to reduce gas supplies through Ukraine.
The Nord Stream-2 project envisages the construction and operation of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The pipeline is about 94% ready. Russia has still to complete a small stretch in Danish waters.
After the imposition of new U.S. sanctions, Russian gas giant Gazprom admitted that it may have to stop or postpone construction of Nord Stream-2, but, at the end of January 2021, Russian pipe-laying vessels resumed work in Danish waters.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt claims that the new U.S. administration led by President Joe Biden is ready to lift sanctions against the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. In return, Germany must propose a mechanism that will allow to shut down the gas pipeline if Moscow tries to reduce the volume of gas transit through Ukraine.